Wendell wakes up in a train station between Maybe and Nowhere. Inspired by Buddhist teachings on the nature of the mind, this new play, with songs written Juanita Rockwell, asks what happens when there’s an opportunity to make a choice.
Nonstop. Roundtrip. Glows and blinks and twinkles like Tinkerbell, passing over No Exit, picking up Alice in Wonderland…with Buddha sitting up there in the peak seat. As satisfying and gloriously mystifying on the page as it is on the stage.
— Sara Pritchard, author of the novel-in-stories Crackpots, awarded the Bakeless Prize for Fiction
Few plays upend the notion of time — both as we experience it in life, and as we experience it in the theatre — as majestically, as insightfully, and as unexpectedly as BETWEEN TRAINS. Whether reading it or seeing it live, I marvel over its wordplay, its musicality, and the rich life of its characters. This is a new-century classic just waiting — in the space where all great works of art lie in wait, just beyond the edge of our consciousness — for audiences to discover it.
— Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Executive Artistic Director, The Drama League of New York
From the Play
Arrival: in which Wendell tries to find her Bearings
Wendell emerges from the pile of suitcases, naked and sopping wet, gasping for air, trying to make sense of her surroundings and thoughts.
TRAIN ANNOUNCER (V.O.): Vällkomen! Parakalo warten here. Bitte allez á track ichi ni san. Gracias beaucoup.
A coat appears. Did it come from the Bodhisattvas? Wendell wants it, but thinks it may belong to one of the rushing travelers:
WENDELL: Excuse me – is this yours?
TRAVELER FOUR: Ich bin very occupé.
WENDELL: (reads a tag hanging from the arm of the coat) “For Wendell.”
(turns over the tag, reads it)
“That’s you.” Oh! Me! OK.
(tries out her new name, putting on the coat)
TRAIN ANNOUNCER (V.O.): Tashi Delek! Seine ticket esta number fjórtán. Molto efcharisto.
She puts the coat on as an apple rolls across the space.
AN APPLE ROLLS
A WAVING SEA
A WINDOW SILL
A PLATE OF SOMETHING GOOD
A Bodhisattvas crosses the space, pushing a pram.
A BABY CRIES
A BURNING ASH
A DROP OF SOMETHING RED
TRAIN ANNOUNCER (V.O.): Namaste! Bonvolu stand alejado de la yellow xiàn. Many salamat!
WENDELL: This must be that dream where you’re naked and scared and confused in a foreign place and you don’t speak the language and you can’t remember… well… much. That’s supposed to mean something, right? Something about shame? Or your mother? Maybe it just means you feel naked and scared and confused.
A chime rings.
A flash of light is followed by a crack of thunder, scattering the travelers.
A title appears:
Loud Noises: in which Wendell learns Fear